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Archive for January, 2011

Every once in a while when I accidentally make something really yummy I remember to write it down right away.  I made this soup for my kids when my 4-year-old was sick and my 5-year-old specifically asked for tofu.  I used organic chicken stock from a carton, which I really think is better than the alternatives at the grocery store.  Someday I might become one of those amazing people that makes their own chicken stock, but not yet.  If you are firm hater of cornstarch, don’t use it.  I used 1 tablespoon just to thicken the soup slightly. 

I think my husband started the habit of eating rice with soup, a habit my kids have embraced with exuberance.  We also had some Korean pear slices making the meal very well-rounded.  The soup would also be a nice side dish for fried rice or some stir-fry chicken and veggies.

Tofu Egg Drop Soup with Spinach

  • 2 cups organic chicken stock
  • 2 cups water
  • ¼ – ½ cup soy sauce (you can always add more at the table)
  • ½ cup apple juice (weird, I know, you have to trust me)
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon minced onion
  • ½ teaspoon rice vinegar (optional)
  • 14 oz package firm tofu, drained and diced
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil
  • big handful of fresh baby spinach (2 cups)

In a large sauce pan bring the stock, water, soy sauce, and apple juice to a simmer.  Add the pepper, garlic powder, minced onion, and vinegar.  Add the tofu and simmer for about 5 minutes.  Dissolve the cornstarch in a cold water and add to the simmering soup.  Stir constantly until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.  Pour in egg in a slow steady stream while stirring.  Stir for about 1 more minute.  Turn off heat and add spinach and sesame oil.  Makes about 5 –  1 cup servings.

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Gingerbread pancakes, they really need no introduction, except YUM!  This is a great way to use up that little bit of molasses sitting around from the gingerbread cookies you made at Christmas.  My kids loved these with maple syrup and butter.  The molasses is the only sweetener, so if you don’t have enough add a little brown sugar to make 3 tablespoons.  Enjoy!

Gingerbread Pancakes

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3 tablespoons molasses (not robust or blackstrap)
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter

In a medium bowl stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices.  In a small bowl whisk together molasses, egg, sour cream,  milk, and melted butter; add to the flour mixture and stir until just combined.  Let the batter sit for about 10 minutes.

Heat a griddle or large skillet over medium to medium high heat until a drop of water scatters on surface.  Either spray with cooking spray or brush with butter.  Drop ¼ cup of batter per pancake on griddle and cook until bubbles appear on surface and edges look dry, 1 to 2 minutes.  Flip and cook an additional 1 to 2 minutes.  Makes 10 – 12 4-inch pancakes.

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I made up this pasta recipe when I was in college and wanted to use pantry items I already had around.  I’ve been making it for years and I thought it was too boring to post until a friend asked for the recipe recently and his family gave it rave reviews.  It can be made very simply with dry basil and parmesan from the green container, or prettied up with fresh basil and fancy grated parmesan.  I made it the original way most recently and added some beautiful sautéed shrimp.  Other fantastic additions are chopped kalamata olives and sun-dried tomatoes.  You could even toss some spinach with the hot pasta to make it a complete meal.  There is a lot of garlic, so be prepared.

Mary Anne Pasta

  • 1 – 13 oz package spaghetti, thin spaghetti, or angel hair pasta (I used whole grain, but the flavor is better with regular pasta)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons dried basil or about 1/2 cup fresh chopped basil
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes, or a dash if serving kiddies
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Grated parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions, don’t forget to add salt to the cooking water.  While pasta is cooking, in a glass measuring cup, combine the olive oil, garlic, basil, pepper flakes, and salt and pepper.  When the pasta is almost done microwave the olive oil mixture for 30 to 45 seconds.  Watch it closely, it needs to bubble and sizzle for a few seconds, but no longer because it will scorch.  You should be able to smell the garlic before you open the door.  Drain the pasta when done and return to empty cooking pot.  Pour the olive oil mixture over the pasta and toss well.  Add the cheese and toss until combined.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

For sautéed shrimp:  Peel and devein shrimp (about 1 lb).  Toss clean shrimp in a bowl with 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 1 to 1 ½ teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning.  In a non-stick pan over medium to medium high heat melt 2 tablespoons butter.  Add the shrimp and saute for about 2 – 3 minutes per side until opaque.  Be careful not  to over cook the shrimp or they will get tough.  Serve with pasta.

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Thank you for a great year!  M.A. Eats had a fantastic first year.  Thank you for reading and commenting.  My most popular post was Vegan Chocolate Cake, followed by Macaroni and Cheese, then Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars.  I’m reposting the Chocolate Cake recipe below with instructions for making wonderful cupcakes.  I hope you all had a wonderful 2010 and best wishes for the New Year!

Simple and Delicious Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1  teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup olive oil (or canola or vegetable oil work too)
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Place cupcake papers in two standard muffin pans.  Spray the surface of the pan with cooking spray so that the cupcake tops do not stick to pan.  In a large bowl stir together dry ingredients, sugar, flour, baking soda, salt and cocoa.  Add water, olive oil, vinegar and vanilla.  Beat by hand with a fork until combined.  Batter should have a uniform appearance with no lumps.  Fill each cupcake paper 3/4 full.  Bake in middle rack of oven for 20 – 22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Dust with powdered sugar if desired.  Makes 24 cupcakes.

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